Om ! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord
with) the mind; May my mind be based on speech. O Self-effulgent One,
reveal Thyself to me. May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of
the Veda to me. May not all that I have heard depart from me. I shall
join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day And night through
this study. I shall utter what is verbally true; I shall utter what is
mentally true. May that (Brahman) protect me; May That protect the
speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me; May that protect the
speaker – may That protect the speaker. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !
I-i-1: In the beginning this was but the absolute Self alone.
There was nothing else whatsoever that winked. He thought, “Let Me
create the worlds.”
I-i-2: He created these world, viz. ambhas, marici, mara, apah. That
which is beyond heaven is ambhas. Heaven is its support. The sky is
marici. The earth is mara. The worlds that are below are the apah.
I-i-3: He thought, “These then are the worlds. Let Me create the
protectors of the worlds.” Having gathered up a (lump of the) human form
from the water itself, He gave shape to it.
I-i-4: He deliberated with regard to Him (i.e. Virat of the human
form). As He (i.e. Virat) was being deliberated on, His (i.e. Virat'’)
mouth parted, just as an egg does. From the mouth emerged speech; from
speech came Fire. The nostrils parted; from the nostrils came out the
sense of smell; from the sense of smell came Vayu (Air). The two eyes
parted; from the eyes emerged the sense of sight; from the sense of
sight came the Sun. The two ears parted; from the ears came the sense of
hearing; from the sense of hearing came the Directions. The skin
emerged; from the skin came out hair (i.e. the sense of touch associated
with hair); from the sense of touch came the Herbs and Trees. The heart
took shape; from the heart issued the internal organ (mind); from the
internal organ came the Moon. The navel parted; from the navel came out
the organ of ejection; from the organ of ejection issued Death. The seat
of the procreative organ parted; from that came the procreative organ;
from the procreative organ came out Water.
I-ii-1: These deities, that had been created, fell into this vast
ocean. He subjected Him (i.e. Virat) to hunger and thirst. They said to
Him (i.e. to the Creator), “Provide an abode for us, staying where we
can eat food.”
I-ii-2: For them He (i.e. God) brought a cow. They said, “This one is
not certainly adequate for us.” For them He brought a horse. They said,
“This one is not certainly adequate for us.”
I-ii-3: For them He brought a man. They said “This one is well
formed; man indeed is a creation of God Himself”. To them He said,
“Enter into your respective abodes”.
I-ii-4: Fire entered into the mouth taking the form of the organ of
speech; Air entered into the nostrils assuming the form of the sense of
smell; the Sun entered into the eyes as the sense of sight; the
Directions entered into the ears by becoming the sense of hearing; the
Herbs and Trees entered into the skin in the form of hair (i.e. the
sense of touch); the Moon entered into the heart in the shape of the
mind; Death entered into the navel in the form of Apana (i.e. the vital
energy that presses down); Water entered into the limb of generation in
the form of semen (i.e. the organ of procreation).
I-ii-5: To Him Hunger and Thirst said, “Provide for us (some abode).”
To them He said, “I provide your livelihood among these very gods; I
make you share in their portions.” Therefore when oblation is taken up
for any deity whichsoever, Hunger and Thirst become verily sharers with
I-iii-1: He thought, “This, then, are the senses and the deities
of the senses. Let Me create food for them.
I-iii-2: He deliberated with regard to the water. From the water,
thus brooded over, evolved a form. The form that emerged was verily
I-iii-3: This food, that was created, turned back and attempted to
run away. He tried to take it up with speech. He did not succeed in
taking it up through speech. If He had succeeded in taking it up with
the speech, then one would have become contented merely by talking of
I-iii-4: He tied to grasp that food with the sense of smell. He did
not succeed in grasping it by smelling. If He had succeeded in grasping
it by smelling, then everyone should have become contented merely by
I-iii-5: He wanted to take up the food with the eye. He did not
succeed in taking it up with the eye. If He had taken it up with the
eye, then one would have become satisfied by merely seeing food.
I-iii-6: He wanted to take up the food with the ear. He did not
succeed in taking it up with the ear. If He had taken it up with the
ear, then one would have become satisfied by merely by hearing of food.
I-iii-7: He wanted to take it up with the sense of touch. He did not
succeed in taking it up with the sense of touch. If He had taken it up
with touch, then one would have become been satisfied merely by touching
I-iii-8: He wanted to take it up with the mind. He did not succeed in
taking it up with the mind. If He had taken it up with the mind, then
one would have become satisfied by merely thinking of food.
I-iii-9: He wanted to take it up with the procreative organ. He did
not succeed in taking it up with the procreative organ. If He had taken
it up with the procreative organ, then one would have become satisfied
by merely ejecting food.
I-iii-10: He wanted to take it up with Apana. He caught it. This is
the devourer of food. That vital energy which is well known as dependent
of food for its subsistence is this vital energy (called Apana).
I-iii-11: He thought, “How indeed can it be there without Me ?” He
thought, “Through which of the two ways should I enter ?” He thought,
“If utterance is done by the organ of speech, smelling by the sense of
smell, seeing by the eye, hearing by the ear, feeling by the sense of
touch, thinking by the mind, the act of drawing in (or pressing down) by
Apana, ejecting by the procreative organ, then who (or what) am I ?”
I-iii-12: Having split up this very end, He entered through this
door. This entrance is known as vidriti (the chief entrance). Hence it
is delightful. Of Him there are three abodes – three (states of) dream.
This one is an abode, this one is an abode. This one is an abode.
I-iii-13: Being born, He manifested all the beings; for did He speak
of (or know) anything else ? He realised this very Purusha as Brahman,
the most pervasive, thus: “I have realised this”.
I-iii-14: Therefore His name is Idandra. He is verily known as
Idandra. Although He is Idandra, they call Him indirectly Indra; for the
gods are verily fond of indirect names, the gods are verily fond of
II-i-1: In man indeed is the soul first conceived. That which is
the semen is extracted from all the limbs as their vigour. He holds that
self of his in his own self. When he sheds it into his wife, then he
procreates it. That is its first birth.
II-i-2: That becomes non-different from the wife, just as much as her
own limb is. Therefore (the foetus) does not hurt her. She nourishes
this self of his that has entered here (in her womb).
II-i-3: She, the nourisher, becomes fit to be nourished. The wife
bears that embryo (before the birth). He (the father) protects the son
at the very start, soon after his birth. That he protects the son at the
very beginning, just after birth, thereby he protects his own self for
the sake of the continuance of these worlds. For thus is the continuance
of these worlds ensured. That is his second birth.
II-i-4: This self of his (viz. the son) is substituted (by the
father) for the performance of virtuous deeds. Then this other self of
his (that is the father of the son), having got his duties ended and
having advanced in age, departs. As soon as he departs, he takes birth
again. That is his (i.e. the son’s) third birth.
II-i-5: This fact was stated by the seer (i.e. mantra): “Even while
lying in the womb, I came to know of the birth of all the gods. A
hundred iron citadels held me down. Then, like a hawk, I forced my way
through by dint of knowledge of the Self”. Vamadeva said this while
still lying in the mother’s womb.
II-i-6: He who had known thus (had) become identified with the
Supreme, and attained all desirable things (even here); and having
(then) ascended higher up after the destruction of the body, he became
immortal, in the world of the Self. He became immortal.
III-i-1: What is It that we worship as this Self ? Which of the
two is the Self ? Is It that by which one sees, or that by which one
hears, or that by which one smells odour, or that by which one utters
speech, or that by which one tastes the sweet or the sour ?
III-i-2: It is this heart (intellect) and this mind that were stated
earlier. It is sentience, rulership, secular knowledge, presence of
mind, retentiveness, sense-perception, fortitude, thinking, genius,
mental suffering, memory, ascertainment resolution, life-activities,
hankering, passion and such others. All these verily are the names of
III-i-3: This One is (the inferior) Brahman; this is Indra, this is
Prajapati; this is all these gods; and this is these five elements, viz.
earth, air, space, water, fire; and this is all these (big creatures),
together with the small ones, that are the procreators of others and
referable in pairs – to wit, those that are born of eggs, of wombs, of
moisture of the earth, viz. horses, cattle, men, elephants, and all the
creatures that there are which move or fly and those which do not move.
All these have Consciousness as the giver of their reality; all these
are impelled by Consciousness; the universe has Consciousness as its eye
and Consciousness is its end. Consciousness is Brahman.
III-i-4: Through this Self that is Consciousness, he ascended higher
up from this world, and getting all desires fulfilled in that heavenly
world, he became immortal, he became immortal.
Om ! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind; May my
mind be based on speech. O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me. May
you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me. May not
all that I have heard depart from me. I shall join together (i.e.
obliterate the difference of) day And night through this study. I shall
utter what is verbally true; I shall utter what is mentally true. May
that (Brahman) protect me; May That protect the speaker (i.e. the
teacher), may That protect me; May that protect the speaker – may That
protect the speaker. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !
Here ends the Aitareyopanishad, as contained in the Rig-Veda.
Translated by Swami Gambhirananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta